Mayor Chris Beutler today said improvements to a Haymarket alley will make it a safer and more inviting pedestrian connection between new developments south of "O" Street and the Haymarket and West Haymarket areas. What is now called Gallery Alley runs from "O" to "P" streets just east of 7th Street. The south end is the City's new Lumberworks Garage, and the north end is between the Burkholder Project and the Creamery Building.
"With a number of economic development projects under way or being contemplated, it is imperative that the City ensure that infrastructure connects the growing south area with the rest of the Haymarket," Mayor Beutler said. "The alley has long been used by pedestrians and is now a major connection between the new Lumberworks garage and the Haymarket. With more growth expected south of "O" Street, we anticipate the number of pedestrians using the alley to increase. Unfortunately, Gallery Alley is not ready for increased traffic."
The Mayor said problems in the alley include a lack of adequate lighting as well as uneven pavement and potholes where water and ice accumulate. "The time has come to make Gallery Alley safe, dry, walkable and well lit," Beutler said. "Beyond that, the alley can become, not just a passageway, but a welcoming entryway people will want to use."
The City has already begun improving the north half of the alley. Crews are resetting and stabilizing the alley bricks to create a smoother and safer walking surface with enhanced drainage. The existing brick pavers are being re-used to maintain its historic appearance. The alley's stormwater system will be upgraded with a permeable system to allow storm water runoff to filter through the ground into underground drains, instead of creating puddles.
Lighting will be installed on the underside of the Harris Overpass and on the Burkholder and Creamery buildings. Lighting will also cross above the alley between the two buildings. A new privately-funded mural will be painted on the Creamery Building to complement the existing art on the Burkholder building.
Work on the concrete south half of the alley, including pavement and lighting improvements, will be timed to fit with the anticipated redevelopment of the building at 700 "O" Street.
Improvements also are being made to make the Haymarket more walkable. Repairs have already been made to the "P" Street sidewalk north of the alley. At 7th and "Q" streets, curbs will be extended to create a shorter pedestrian crossing, and a four-way stop will also be installed.
The total budget for the project is about $800,000, which includes $190,000 in private contributions and $200,000 in street construction dollars. About $316,000 in tax-increment financing will be used mainly for the lighting portion of the project. The budget includes a $50,000 endowment for alley maintenance.